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Re: How long to recover from a calf heart attack [summitt]
For what its worth...

This is an update of a post I made back in July 2007.

I was having recurring calf problems (both legs) for 4-1/2 years starting when I was 42. When running, my calf felt like it would "grab" and there would be no way to continue running. Typically, it would be sore for 24 hours, then the pain would go away unless I tried to run. After 4 days or so, I could start running again, but slowly and for short periods. Over a period of weeks, I could return to my normal level of activity until it happened again. Some of the things I tried:

Heavy-Load Eccentric Calf Muscle Training

My sports medicine doc claimed a 100% success rate with this treatment (until I came along).

Compression Socks

I tried these before they became popular. I raced in them once and I've never received so many comments about my attire. They seemed to help, but I just couldnít stand the abuse.

The Stick

Others seem to like this, but I don't care for it.


I did this for about 10 weeks and was injury free during and for 5 months after. The problem was that the treatments were becoming increasingly painful. When jury duty interrupted my weekly sessions, I never went back. I don't know why it worked, but it did seem to work.

TP Massage Baller

I used the Quadballer on a big piece of foam daily. I would go both directions on the calf muscle from the foot to the back of the knee. This seemed to lengthen the periods between injuries but didnít cure me.

"Calf Heart Attack" rehab

I followed this protocol after one of my calf injuries and went about 3 months without any further injury. The article described my injury perfectly and the treatment makes sense, but it wasnít long lasting as the injury occurred again

Active Release Techniques and The Graston Technique
I went to see a chiropractor who specialized in Active Release Techniques (ART) and the Graston Technique back in February 2008. Iíve been injury free (knock on wood) since. The initial treatments were really painful. He took what looked like a large butter knife and scraped down the back of my leg while the muscle was under tension. He also did (and still does) some pretty intense deep tissue massage. I saw him twice a week for the first three weeks, once a week for three weeks, once every other week for a month and once a month since then. I still use the quadballer on a foam pad on a regular basis. And I do the following calf stretches after every run.

Calf Stretches

You will need a post for support.

Stand about an armís length away from the pole facing it. Place the heel of one leg on the ground close to the base of the pole with only the big toe making contact up on the pole (the bottom of your foot should be pointing up at about 45 degrees from the ground). Keeping the leg and back straight, lean into the pole slowly until you feel moderate tension in your calf. Hold the stretch for 60 seconds then alternate legs.

The second stretch is similar to the first except you make contact with the pole with your entire forefoot rather than just the big toe. And you bend your front leg. You initiate the stretch by pressing your knee towards the pole until you feel tension. Hold the stretch for 60 seconds then alternate legs.

The third stretch combines the first two. Keep the front leg straight, and make contact with the pole with the entire forefoot. Keeping the leg and back straight, lean into the pole slowly until you feel moderate tension in your calf. Hold the stretch for 60 seconds then alternate legs.http://
Last edited by: tiredlegs: Apr 10, 10 16:26

Edit Log:

  • Post edited by tiredlegs (Big Pines) on Apr 10, 10 16:26